The Liberal National Government is continuing its support for the dairy industry, with six Wide Bay dairy farmers to receive grants for energy-efficient equipment, Federal Member for Wide Bay and Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives Llew O'Brien announced today.
Mr O'Brien said the farmers had been awarded grants of up to $20,000 each through the Government's Energy Efficient Communities Program to lower their power bills so they can reinvest in their business and employ more people.
"These grants will help local dairy farmers reduce their energy bills and will provide much-needed financial support at a time when many in the industry are struggling after years of unfair milk pricing and drought," Mr O'Brien said.
"Supporting the long-term sustainability of our dairy farmers is critical to the Wide Bay economy and Australia's food security, and I am pleased this election commitment has been delivered by the Morrison Government."
The grants can be used for cutting energy costs by upgrading to more energy-efficient equipment such as vacuum pumps, cooling and heating equipment or lighting; investing in monitoring systems to better manage energy use; or having energy audits done on a dairy's operations.
The following grants have been awarded to farms in Wide Bay:
Amount Location Purpose
$19,590 Gympie Energy Efficient Water Heating Upgrade
$20,000 Wooroonden Upgrade Irrigation to Pivot for Energy Efficiency
$19,250 Kybong Installing a Heat Recovery Unit to Reduce Electricity Costs
$20,000 Boonara Heat Recovery System Upgrade
$20,000 Bells Bridge Irrigation Upgrade
$17,401 Cedar Pocket Energy Efficient Irrigation Upgrade
Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor said the Government is supporting dairy farmers to invest in energy-saving activities for the benefit of their business and the country.
"Dairy farmers are at the centre of an industry every Australian relies upon," Minister Taylor said.
"The products they produce line our supermarket shelves and fill our fridges.
"With energy a significant cost of doing business in the dairy industry, these grants will help farmers lower their bills and help ensure the long-term viability of their businesses.
"Helping these businesses to cut their power bills by becoming more energy efficient will ease the financial pressures they face while also reducing our emissions. It's a win-win."
Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management David Littleproud said energy use in milk cooling, milk harvesting and hot water production is one of the highest overheads in the dairy shed, so anything that can be done to reduce costs will help support the financial resilience of these farmers.
"Many businesses are struggling at the moment and dairy farmers, in particular, are continuing to do it tough in the drought and the aftermath of devastating bushfires," Minister Littleproud said.
"These grants will provide welcome support at a time when so many in the agricultural sector are struggling."
The Energy Efficient Communities Program was announced as part of the Government's $3.5 billion Climate Solutions Package to deliver on Australia's 2030 climate commitments.